New Delhi: Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale has announced that his party, the Republican Party of India, will approach the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court directive against the use of the word ‘Dalit’ by media, said reports. Following the HC order, the I&B Ministry had issued directions to media to use the constitutional term ‘Scheduled Castes’ to refer to the community. The RPI leader is the second Dalit leader after BJP MP Udit Raj who has protested against the court order and the I&B Ministry advisory. (Catch LIVE Updates of Bharat Bandh Here) Also Read - Hyderabad: Man Accused in Honour-Killing Case of Dalit Christian Son-in-law Commits Suicide

Athawale reportedly said that when the government decided not to use the term ‘Harijan’ — coined by Mahatma Gandhi for Dalits — and instead use ‘Scheduled Caste’ for official purposes, it was in keeping with the sentiments of the community that didn’t like being called so. He said the word Dalit symbolises the struggle of these communities for their rights; “it isn’t an insult”. Also Read - Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's Son Appointed Lok Janshakti Party Chief



“Earlier this year, our Social Justice Ministry too had issued orders asking government departments to stick to the term Scheduled Castes. It is alright to say that in the official written documents Schedule Caste should be used,” he said. “I have no objection to the use of ‘Scheduled Caste’ in government works, but it isn’t fair to ban media, authors and other such persons from using the word ‘Dalit’. It should be left to them whether they wish to say ‘Scheduled Caste’ or ‘Dalit’,” he said. MP Udit Raj had also tweeted, “The word Dalit is a symbol of our unity. This word has given us the motivation because of which one day our community will enter into the mainstream of the country. This word should not make anyone feel inferior and not name but their welfare should be important to us.” Also Read - Tamil Nadu: Stalin Fumes As CBSE Paper Asks Questions on Dalits and Muslims, Calls For Strong Action



Meanwhile, Minister Athawale reacted to the Bharat Bandh and said, “My message to all Brahmin groups saying that the Atrocities Act would be misused is: if you don’t commit atrocities against Dalits, there is no fear of the Atrocities Act being applied to you.”